GNOME AN­GEL

Be­ing a per­fec­tion­ist can stop you even start­ing a project for fear of mess­ing up. Angie Wil­son ex­plains how to learn to love your mis­takes

Love Patchwork & Quilting - - FEATURES - gnomean­gel gnomean­gel.com

Angie Wil­son urges us to em­brace our mis­takes and take some risks with our quilt mak­ing!

You know when you’re in a job in­ter­view and the in­ter­viewer asks that stock stan­dard ques­tion, “Can you tell us about one of your weak­nesses?” and we all cringe and think of some­thing that we can talk about that looks like a weak­ness but is ac­tu­ally a trait that will mean you’ll be awe­some in that role? When I used to sit on in­ter­view­ing pan­els I could al­most guar­an­tee that two-thirds of ap­pli­cants would say, “I’m a per­fec­tion­ist,” as their an­swer to that ques­tion and then sit there smugly like the cat that got the cream. On the sur­face that an­swer looks great. You could read into it that they’ll do a top­notch job with no mis­takes

– but the re­al­ity of be­ing a per­fec­tion­ist is much more de­struc­tive. They can get caught up in achiev­ing the per­fect and spi­ral out of con­trol into not de­liv­er­ing and be­ing un­happy in their job. The same goes for cre­ative per­fec­tion­ists.

Now here’s where I un­mask my own weak­ness – I’m a cre­ative per­fec­tion­ist. Un­like those in­ter­view can­di­dates this lit­tle con­fes­sion makes me cringe and hang my head in shame. It’s noth­ing to be proud of – in fact it’s one of the big­gest saps to my sewjo. I spend hours star­ing at a project try­ing to find the ‘right’ fab­ric to use be­cause I’m so para­noid that I’ll cut into my fab­ric, make a mis­take and I won’t be able to find any more. I am paral­ysed with in­de­ci­sion be­cause it has to be per­fect. What’s the point in spend­ing all that time mak­ing some­thing if it’s not right?

Even worse now is the pres­sure that comes with know­ing I’ll be shar­ing the ma­jor­ity of my work with my com­mu­nity via my blog, so­cial me­dia, books and teach­ing. I don’t want some­one to judge me be­cause I picked the wrong fab­ric, cut off a point, did the tech­nique wrong – you name it, the list of ways I can make a mis­take and be judged for it are end­less. But here’s the thing – I’ve learned some­thing im­por­tant this year: the ben­e­fits of mak­ing mis­takes far out­weigh get­ting some­thing ‘per­fect’.

Mak­ing those mis­takes is what helps me get bet­ter at my craft and at the end of the day that means more to me then the opin­ion of any­one else who might judge me for try­ing. The other bonus of mak­ing stuff where I ac­cept that I will make mis­takes and I just need to do the best I can at the time is that things get done. I’m su­per pro­duc­tive when I give my­self per­mis­sion to make mis­takes. It re­ally is true – done is bet­ter than per­fect. Know why? Be­cause done means you can move on to the next thing (and buy more fab­ric!) and the next thing brings with it new chal­lenges, new op­por­tu­ni­ties and new ways for you to learn and grow.

If you’re like me and get­ting hung up on be­ing per­fect then I’m giv­ing you per­mis­sion to be im­per­fect. Em­brace the mantra ‘done is bet­ter than per­fect’ and get out there and start mak­ing!

As Miles Davis fa­mously said: “Do not fear mis­takes – there are none.”

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